Steve Jobs is being quoted this week as saying that “people don’t read anymore.”
The website AppleInsider quotes Jobs’s interview with the New York Times:
Jobs also weighed in on other recent industry developments, like Amazon’s new $400 Kindle eBook reader, which he believes is destine for failure.
“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”
This is either just trash-talk about the Kindle, or some kind of smokescreen to distract from a product Apple has in development, or it’s a truly alarming insight into what Jobs believes we need technology for. If he really believes this, then I’m extra-glad they’re opening up the iPhone/iPod touch to third-party developers — since Apple would seem unlikely to give us the ebook-reading features so many of us want.
But besides — if this statistic is accurate, what’s really amazing to me is that it suggests that 60% of Americans read two books or more every year! If that’s true, we’re doing OK.